The lure of the open highway

by Richard on March 29, 2010

At ReadWriteWeb, Rob Cottingham wonders if banning texting while driving might lead some to abandon their cars.

A lot of us treat mobile connectivity as a compulsion, and the enforced hour-long severing from the hive mind for twice-a-day commutes is a genuine pain point. And the growing strength of everything from location-aware apps to augmented reality will only sharpen it.

For car drivers, the freedom of the open road, as illusory as it has been for decades, is about to get more so. Mass transit may at times be crowded and uncomfortable, but with the escape to cyberspace just a few keystrokes away, buses and trains may well eclipse the car as the homes of true mobile freedom.

I know. My first thought was ridicule, too. And then I remembered how glued to their phones some of my younger friends are.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }


dave perry 03.29.10 at 12:24 pm

Love it Richard, great post :-) Of course the sadness as I see it is that whilst all these amazing young people are connected to the hive mind they are disconnected from real mindfulness, that state of being truly aware of the present moment. Burying one’s attention in a keypad is a poor substitute for being present to one’s immediate context in a truly attentive and non-distracted way. I don’t think this is merely the growlings of a 52 year old dinosaur, rather a genuine concern for the richness of what is not being seen and especially for the spiritual benefits of cultivating awareness of our surroundings and not least of the people physically present to us.
Thanks for prompting me to think.


PamBG 03.29.10 at 5:26 pm

And then I remembered how glued to their phones some of my younger friends are.

I have an “interesting” situation at work where my immediate supervisor is a young woman of 23. When I asked permission to go in the back of the shop and return a phone call from my mother, I got told quite sharply that phone calls were not permitted at work and that I could only do it on my break. I bit my tongue from asking if the text messages she’d sent that morning counted. I’m not kidding when I say that it’s quite frequently that she sends a text something like every 2 minutes. She admitted to me that she sends over 3000 texts a month. Do young people think we’re stupid? Oh yes. I forgot. They do think we’re stupid! :D


Pam 03.29.10 at 11:28 pm

My son needs to see that cartoon!


malc 03.30.10 at 3:56 pm

“wonders if banning texting while driving might lead some to abandon their cars” - it is banned… indeed I think there was an MP who got in trouble because he’d sent a text message two or three minutes before he had a car crash.


Richard 03.30.10 at 4:16 pm

It’s banned here Malc, but still allowed in some of the US states, from whence cometh the writer I was linking.


malc 03.31.10 at 10:19 pm

well, considering how well the ban has worked over here then the answer will be no.

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